For a designer who loves to play with color and pattern, there's no better feeling than working with a client willing to have a little fun. That's the experience Marika Meyer had with a family of five looking to create their dream home in Bethesda, Md., where Meyer's studio is also based.

"The family had outgrown their previous home and was very interested in function-driven spaces," explains Meyer. "They have kids who are active and have lots of hobbies, so creating destinations within the home was important to serve various needs."

The house the clients selected was an Arts and Crafts style new build, comprised of seven bedrooms, seven full baths, and three half baths across 8,000 square feet—plenty of space to accommodate all sorts of activities. And, to Meyer's delight, lots of room to incorporate all sorts of colors, patterns, and textures.

The splashiest shades can be found throughout the children's spaces, perhaps most notably in the craft room, where the focal point is a chromatic wallpaper opposite the entryway. "The melting ice pop wallpaper was the perfect way to spread color and playfulness," explains Meyer. The adjacent bunk room, designed specifically for sleepovers and hangouts, is all about blues and greens, which reflect the craft table and its stools.

The children's primary bedrooms feature other palettes. "The daughter's room continues the play of color and pattern. Lilacs, yellows, and cornflower blue create a fun space that will age with this young lady," says Meyer.

Adult-focused spaces are a touch more sophisticated than kids' rooms, but they still embrace bold colors and busy patterns. Take, for instance, the library and formal sitting room, done up in aubergine—a favorite hue of the homeowners. You'll find the color on the glossy built-in bookshelves, the throw pillows, and the window dressings.

In the kitchen, there's an almost shocking use of beige for a color fanatic, but that was intentional on Meyer's part. "Like at everyone’s home, the kitchen in this house is high traffic. To that end, we wanted to create interest but leave room for the noise of everyday living," she explains. That interest is drummed up by cornflower blue lower cabinets and striking veining in quartzite countertops and backsplashes. Never fear, though—rainbow colors aren't too far away; an informal dining space has a banquette lined with punchy throw pillows to brighten things up.

"We had a blast working with these clients," says Meyer, voicing what's clear from one look at this home. "They are not afraid of color and having fun."

Living Room

Pictured above.

The library and formal sitting room are an aubergine dream—and a dream spot for entertaining. "We wanted to establish a space for adults to enjoy while the kiddos have the run of the family room," says Meyer.

Chairs: Century. Window Treatment Fabric: Stroheim. Drinks Table: Global Views.

living room area with a bookshelf and a rolling ladder
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

"My favorite detail here is the wallpaper on the ceiling," says Meyer.

Ceiling Wallpaper: Thibaut. Ceiling Lights/Sconces: Visual Comfort. Cocktail Table: Serena & Lily.

Morning Room

sitting room
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

This was designed as a space for the kids to relax and have fun. Note how the soothing blue sofa and the walls match perfectly.

Window Treatment Fabric: Marika Meyer Textiles. Sofa: Lee Industries. Sofa Fabric: Perennials.


Stacy Zarin Goldberg

"The drama of the veining in the quartzite countertop was too fun not to use as our backsplash," says Meyer.

Pendant: Rejuvenations. Window Treatment Fabric: Fabricut.

Breakfast Bar

breakfast bar
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

The banquette seating is not just practical for dining—it also serves as extra storage space.

Chairs: Woodbridge Furniture. Leather: Kravet.

Dining Room

dining table
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

It's all about what's going on above the dining room. "We did the faux finish on the ceiling to create drama," says Meyer. "Adding to the texture, we included the leather-strapped chandelier for a sense of understated glamor."

Chandelier: Ngala Trading. Drapery Fabric: Schumacher. Side Chairs: Woodbridge Furniture.

Daughter's Bedroom

Stacy Zarin Goldberg

The daughter's bedroom is "a study of pattern play," according to Meyer.

Window Treatment Fabric: Thibaut. Lamps: Visual Comfort. Headboard Fabric: Kravet.

Stacy Zarin Goldberg

The colors are whimsical but work equally well for a child and a young adult.

Window Treatment Fabric: Thibaut. Purple Side Table: Hive Modern.

Bunk Room

kid's room with bunk beds
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

With four bunks, this comfy bedroom is the ideal spot for sleepovers.

Chair: Lee Industries. Window Treatment Fabric: Kravet. Trim and Bunk Color: Benjamin Moore, Kensington Blue.

Craft Room

kid's playroom with stools and art supplies on a high table
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

"The craft room may be my favorite of the whole house!" says Meyer, who custom-designed the craft table.

Wallpaper: Rebel Walls. Light: Stray Dogs.


House Beautiful: Did you encounter any memorable hiccups, challenges, or surprises during the project? How did you pivot?

Marika Meyer: We were in the early stages of architectural design when Covid hit, so everything was fairly memorable! The project is not far from our office, but it taught us how to work "remotely" when we could not do in-person design meetings. We worked with Mid-Atlantic Builders on the project and they were great partners to wade through together!

HB: Where did the majority of the budget go?

MM: We worked strategically to make sure this house was the family's "forever home." To that end, we sourced quality upholstery that can be reupholstered over time and durable case goods and tables that will not show wear and tear for a busy family!

HB: Any other memorable details?

MM: We got to play in shades of yellow, green, blue, and even aubergine, which was a treat!